Thursday, 29 May 2008

Moving in - and moving up?

Yup, because new premises are gonna fix the problem ... The UAE Journalists Association has got a new home.

This bit is genius:

He said the upcoming premises will be a top-notch centre, equipped with sophisticated tools. "The headquarters will be a meeting place amidst a social and professional environment. It will contain all the required facilities such as auditorium, library, computer centre, journalism training centre, sports and social facilities plus a cafeteria," he said.

By sophisticated tools, I was rather hoping the centre would be equipped with - oh I don't know - actual journalists? However, it's more likely to have bugged phones and blocked internet.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

TV ads

By request from an anon commenter:

TV advertising. first there was the Lacnor ad in which the young girl cuddles the juice carton like it was mammy and now there's one in which a mother struggling to comfort her baby finds the only way to do it is to put her KFC grease covered finger into the tot's mouth.

who approves this crap and is anyone else bothered by it?

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Turning the TV back on

We've been a bit overkill on the National, so back to TV. Scroll down this article: Bridging The Gulf.

The attempt to fuse Western talent and values with Arab control have not always been smooth in the media business. Al-Jazeera, the original beacon of a popular, autonomous media, owned by the Emir of Qatar, has faced serious challenges in the period since it launched its English-language rolling news channel. Its first year was dogged by clashes over terms and conditions. Jo Burgin, a former senior executive, is seeking £1 million in compensation, claiming that she was dismissed because she is a “white, Christian woman”.

Yesterday al-Jazeera English brought in Tony Burman as managing director, who had previously run CBC News in Canada, in an attempt to heal some of the rifts created under the previous regime. Nigel Parsons, the former managing director, was pushed upstairs to a role running “business acquisition and development”. For all the problems, al-Jazeera's output remains of high quality and there are no allegations of overt interference.

Nevertheless, with Gulf states pouring cash into media, outsiders believe that they have something to contribute. That thinking underlies the decision by the BBC World Service to launch an Arabic channel, because the BBC believes that it is able to offer an independent voice. But, whereas it might have had to battle before with censorship, now it has to battle with vibrant rivals for audience - a sign that a market for media is developing.

Have we got any Al Jazeerans reading who can give their perspective on the "rifts"? Enough ex-Dubai media are now working there. And anyone been hired from BBC Arabic? There used to be some ex-BBC Arabic staff working at MBC, are they planning to return?